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Six Nations 2024: England's defense 'willing to make mistakes', says Ben Earl

Six Nations 2024: England's defense 'willing to make mistakes', says Ben Earl

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Ben Earl says he is one of England's “top players” in defence

Guinness Six Nations: England v Wales

place: Twickenham Stadium date: Saturday 10 February Starting: 16:45 GMT

coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru; Live text on the BBC Sport website and app, watch on ITV1 and S4C

England will leave their “ego at the door” and will be “willing to make mistakes” in defense against Wales on Saturday, said Ben Earl, number eight.

New defense coach Felix Jones introduced South Africa's blitzing defense system, which he coached, in England's opening Six Nations win over Italy.

The system had mixed results, with Italy scoring three tries in Rome.

“The shift in us now is that we will make mistakes,” Earl, 26, told the Rugby Union Daily.

He added: “Some teams will be in chaos, but we will try harder.

“It was like; leave your ego at the door and be prepared to make mistakes. That's something that's very liberating as a player. If you know you're going to do your job, have that mentality and make mistakes.”

Jones, a 36-year-old former Ireland international who was part of two successful World Cup campaigns with the Springboks, has replaced Kevin Sinfield as England's defense coach in the Six Nations.

Earl, who played 26 international matches, added: “Felix came and mapped things out for us and said: This is where we are, where we want to go and where we should go.”

“It's individual and collective feedback. I've spent a lot of time with Felix, being a big defensive player.

“Hush [Jones’] Laptop is a joke. The amount of files he opened, the games he watched, the clips he showed us…

“He brings a depth and intensity that I haven't seen from many coaches before. He's been great.”

England's greater “liberty” interests Mooney

Italy beat Steve Borthwick's side 3-2 in terms of tries last weekend, with the visitors' goals coming from winger Elliot Daly and scrum-half Alex Mitchell.

But former England and Lions winger Ugo Mony says the attacking potential of the new-look team interests him.

“To get any result against Wales, and for England to get two goals from two games in such a big game at Twickenham, will be satisfying,” Mooney told Rugby Union Daily.

“I love this team very quietly. I don't know if it's as good as last year's team but the potential of this team is greater. There's a completely different energy and feeling about it and that excites me.”

“I'm often very passionate about English teams, but the obvious difference is this freedom that they seem to have a bit more character, to be less predictable.

“If this is the England we keep seeing on the pitch, they will develop into what I think they can be.”

video caption, Six Nations 2024: A weekend in the life of BBC Sport pundit and former Wales captain Warburton